Jeanne (Tyler) Shimomura

Jeanne (Tyler) Shimomura
Chicago, IL

So I moved to Chicago in 1977 after getting my MFA from Indiana University for a job and have ended up living here for the past 44 years. I think that qualifies me as now being from Illinois. Gary and I got married in 1982 and have 2 boys, Tyler and Sam. They both live and work in the area, though we have not seen much of each other for the last year. We were taking care of Gary’s parents (97 & 93), with the help of home health care for the last year, so we maintained a fairly strict isolation. His mother had a stroke 4 years ago and his father broke a hip last summer, so I have been supervising their care, shopping and doing the majority of cooking. Within the last month we were finally able to move them to assisted living, but we are all still adjusting to a new lifestyle.

Gary is still working and owns the company his father started. He builds machines to automate processes and does packaging of screws and small parts for assembly. If you have a Weber grill, his company probably made the bag of screws that came with it. Tyler works for Hamamatsu in technical sales, a lot of automobile sensors, and now instead of traveling around the country is doing Zoom calls from his home. Sam designs pop up displays for anything from paint chips to chewing tobacco and toilets, so it is likely that the Shimomura’s have touched your life in an unknown way in the last few years, with your car, grill or chew.

I have had a varied set of jobs from textile designer, stay at home mom, Barnes and Noble and University Professor. Through it all I have maintained my love of creating art and currently my interest is in stained and fused glass. I am also working for an event planner making flowers for weddings and corporate events. We have just gone back to work in the last couple months because of the pandemic, but are now trying to catch up on all of the 2020 weddings and 2021 events and weddings.

My travel buddy, Jacki O Donnell and I had to cancel a trip out west last year because of the pandemic and are now trying to reschedule, but with the variants and fires out west I am not sure of our plans. I hope everyone and their families have stayed safe and best wishes for the future.